MANY MODELS LOOK THE SAME BUT... These are preferred


First we talk about light and why the Metz is so good.  The METZ fits right in, if you understand how to control light,  thats how many pros shoot.  The A mode was the first and is still my favorite.  I have missed a lot using TTL.  An aperture is dialed in on the settings dial, and a photo cell regulates the necessary light output according to the selected aperture. 

Simple and pro-preferred by the pros because they are controlling the situation and there is no conflict between camera and flash.  The so-called solution of TTL is a joke.  It’s on the camera and loved by many because they really don’t know lighting and it sells to those too lazy to learn the art of lighting and want the camera to do all the work.  I don’t blame you, if you paid too much for a light tight box and your shots need more time in Photoshop than you need too.

The hardest thing teaching newbies in this business ( not a hobbyist, someone who has to put the food on the table) is that it is similar to carpentry and other skill sets where the objective is the final product and not what size or brand of hammer you used.  I had a small dent taken out of a door on my car and I never asked the body shop, “Nice work what brand of sandpaper did you use, was that a DeVilbis sprayer you blended with ?

Set the camera for the ambient lighting, some of us just use F8 or F11 at 125th of a sec.  Why? It’s probably in the center of your zooms best sharpness and detail.  Then use the flash in Automatic and set for the indicated F-stop.   Done that simple.  Result:  More flashes,  less waste and better light distribution on subject.

The really big deal about the 45s though is the range of accessories which greatly enhance their versatility. Especially the external Mecamat sensor if you can find one makes your 45 a small studio strobe, allowing you to dial in several more automatic apertures and manually regulating the output between full power and 1/64.  The even better good news is that good units can be found for under 100.00 especially the simple 45 CT-1 models. 

 The CT and CL -1 operates in A mode and Manual mode with thanks to YONG-NUO bringing back those modes to shooters (any Strobists) who didn’t have a clue about light.  ITT-Ll and other alphabet letters really taught you nothing about light and I still in the lab I see lousy work even though the shooter had a Nikon 850, a 5000 series flash and the latest and greatest lens.
The advantage of learning to use the A mode and manual settings are faster shooting, quicker flash recovery, control of the light, and does a better job working in manual situations is critical to Wedding and event shooter who work in the dark locations like old churches and halls.  

TTL does not, It was made for amateurs and to sell cameras.  The only thing the hottest and greatest new model does is lower your bank account. If I had a nickel for every “professional” who didn’t know anything about light and asked me some really basic questions that clued me into that fact, I would be rich.  

They came into our store and lab all day.   Then when asked I went to their website and if I hear “ Close to you, Feelings, Forever and ever, How deep is your love, Green sleeves  or the Wedding Song”  one more time my ears will go deaf and I will throw up on their shoes.

You still have auto focus but still retaining full image control .  You simply let the flash do the thinking instead of the camera.  Any ttl or pre-flash integration slows down shooting.  Lets face truth the truth.  TTL in any manufacturers camera had it roots in making the amateur better, the pro who knows what he is doing prefers the control.

I re-designed a whole new system of battery packs based on the availability of newer battery, charger components and found a decent source.  But and after you use one, and you see the difference in flash distribution, coverage, technique  and power, you will become a convert.  Not to mention reliability, and longevity.  Oh I forgot to mention cost.

Most of the projects I work on and offer come with decades of experience, and a strong effort to be completely safe. Many of the strobes, flashes and other devices using capacitors to build and release energy are dangerous in more ways than one. 

1 -  I check the serial number of the strobe.  READ ON and you will FIND OUT WHY.  Power, we test them on the 7.4 side and then the 9.6 side.  Check slides and controls and look for corrosion.

2 - We create a module for the side showing the best results. Since the design allowed both NiMH and Alkali voltages, we may use different input speeds. 

3 - We manufacture a Black Box and charger combo with the desired MAH which can vary from 2000 to 4000 MAH and run the 9.6 side.

4 - We determine if the setup is best for single or dual use.  The beauty of this set up is with two high-power black boxes and their dual ports you can mix and match both setups. 

5 - The modules are then fitted with Quantum coiled cables, not the kind rotting all over the market. I modify and convert the module and we test and test.   

The 45 CT-1  gave you a choice of five apertures after selecting the ISO and the inner Dial on top was used to select ISO of your film.   The outer transparent wheel could be turned to one of five aperture positions or Manual.  The scale below the transparent wheel showed the selectable apertures and maximum distance for your selected aperture. 

The 45 CT-1  has so much power with my new packs that you rarely need it in normal situations. Faster recycling, better working distance, and burst modes.   Better power for bounce lighting, and you can bounce from the ceiling or a side wall. The 45 had the power to do it easily and the automation, and swivel ability to do it perfect out of the box.  

“Mo’ Power Dude”... I shoot in manual when using flash and let the flash do the thinking. With a thousand full power flashes and as many as three thousand, power is not a problem for me. With the camera preset in manual and the strobe in auto me controlling the exposure, my job is now simpler.  Ambient lighting changes jut change the speed dial as long as the camera supports synch.  Say 125th to 250th if it is supported.

The good side today is the METZ strobes are available in numbers, dirt cheap and simple to operate in M or A mode which most pros use and understand and the new power conversions I am working on, are simple and inexpensive.  

I’m using and redoing all of their battery modules to make modules that have superior power, reinforced in places and are inexpensive and look like they belong, not an add-on hack job glued or velcro’ed to the outside.

The honesty of the web and eBay has always been dubious.  Look out for 45’s on Roberts Camera on eBay, some of their 45’s should have been trashed.  They piece them out.  Cheap prices and most were trashy, one customer I worked with received three till they had one that worked.  

Carefully read the bottom of this article almost all the used stuff I just saw on eBay which I check frequently was bad news. You don’t buy these odd pieces marked...”Did not test, or needs new battery etc, just pass and look elsewhere”.  

Beware of those ads using factory pictures, not the actual unit.  Beware of ads claiming could not be tested. Pass on any items sold as parts only, avoid, no one repairs them anymore. 

The circular sliders if left in a bad environment like at the seashore, salt air, are prone to corrosion and wear, and the hot circuits shorted in many simply due to age.  

If you use third party wireless triggers with multiple flash units in manual mode or automatic mode the 45’s start to make sense.  Automatic mode has its pitfalls, so the flash should have a wide manual range. Clearly the Metz, late low voltage 45 CT-1 with the fitting Mecamat is a hidden treasure.  Most of the transmitter receivers can handle HV models.

Adapters cannot be used to solve that problem. Therefore, your 45 CT can only be used in simple auto flash mode and/or with manual settings and you would be a heck of a better photographer as it will force you to taking command instead of letting the flash and camera battle it out and get it wrong.

For it the camera must be set in manual mode on the same F-stop and ISO as used on flash unit (set on A mode). 

The 45 CT-1 is the smallest and simplest of the entire METZ fleet, with the easiest components to find and put together into a very supportive and viable unit.  All the others get complex and so do their components.  I design simple reliable and powerful, Im not interested in the useless stuff.  

It was introduced in 1976 and produced up to 2014 the product was iconic for Metz and noted as the best for Wedding and PJ work.  38 years in  production, and had a reputation with professionals for ruggedness, reliability, and most important delivering great light.  Because...

The CT flash offers 5 automatic apertures with an ISO range is limited from ISO 25 to ISO 400,  and with the power it has more than enough. The measuring range of the flash metering cell is fixed and which apertures can be selected depend on the set ISO value. The most common Digital  is 200 ASA OR DIN       200 =  4 / 5.6 / 8 / 11 / 16 

It has more than enough Fill in flash in daylight on the other hand works quite well.  Think Beach model and wedding shots with back lighting  With ISO 100 or 200 you can use apertures from 4 to 16 which should cater for most shooting situations shooting into sunlight for the halo shots. And not spending 3000 dollars for the Profoto unit, this is far more economical 

The flash itself does only have two manual settings:  Manual which is full power and Winder which is 1/64 power.  On auto you have the best selection.

THE MECAMAT  (45-20 or 45-4)  
Is easily available on the used market and allows seven manual settings from full power to 1/64. That makes the Metz 45 CT-1 with Mecamat quite useful for any full manual set up. To use the Mecamat the flash should be set to manual mode.  The Mecamat also expands the number of usable apertures in automatic mode to a total of 9. 

The later model above serial number 534000 can be triggered with any third party wireless trigger and can be included in a wireless trigger manual set up nicely.  For earlier models the same caution as for cameras will need to be exercised.  The WEIN or VELLO. 

Personally I was never a fan of the Metz original rechargeable power packs. They did not offer large capacity,  had a long loading time and were a pain to maintain.  They sucked and if not used died.  You would need to discharge and re-charge on a frequent basis to maintain the capacity of the pack.    Also those packs were Ni-Cads. Low capacity compared to today and prone to memory effect.  Ni-CADS if not used all the time simply died.  Also rechargeable Ni-Cads are preferred by some builders for specific use...under specific unique conditions.

My packs are made for me with High-quality NiMH.  High power, good components, and easily replaceable.



➡︎  Reason One:  The major discouragement for me with the 50/60/70 series is, that there batteries they ONLY work with the rechargeable set sold by METZ.   There are few other options that work unless you want to go broke with Quantum’s.  The T3 Batteries from them sell for $550 plus dollars and a used one at ADORAMA  cost $249.00.  

They probably allowed $150.00 on trade so you lose 400.00 dollars the minute you buy a new one.  Batteries are different in resale value and more is a hell of a lot less when it’s your dollars. 

I have converted one of the Green and Black modules to work on my Black Box 6 Plus series because it failed (9.6) but they are tricky.  The Green with black tops can be upgraded and you are talking about 75 to 100 dollars, but caution there are a few tricks to rebuilding them involving pepi switch and cutoffs and a solder gun and plumbing experience  will not cut it.  You have been informed, only one location that I know of knows how to do it properly. 

I➡︎    Reason Two:  Also recently (2017-2018) I have been looking at those units and their cables on eBay and other locations, as I’m selling the upgrades faster than I can find them.  The deal killer is the cables connecting the head and the camera unit series are degaussing, unwinding shorting and cracking.   

I spent two days fixing one only to have the other end split open a week later. Thats taught me. Any break in the cable means the rest of the cable will be affected.   Sometimes on the Chinese units as shown,  I have to replace the entire cable on both ends, and they are only a five strand.  The Metz cables have eleven strands and teeny - tiny Santa Elves must do the soldering.

There are no parts,  and no replacements, no service center.   To those who look to eBay, this is just some of the useless scrap thats is being offered on eBay, the age of the cables is apparent and damaged and the seller acknowledges that which means if it dies or fries he warned you. 

For the  45CT-1 Low or High Synch,  new cables versions are available, some I might have extras in stock and just requires a phone call.   Like I said many times,today the 45CT-1 late version or a pristine M76-5 are good buys. I also mod those for Cameras with no synch but have a hotshoe.

It is basically impossible to repair because of the way the communication is setup even trying to just make a manual box out of it.   Now the connections to your camera cannot exceed three volts or you can fry the motherboards and the exposed ground the copper winding when it is exposed could allow the synch power as high as 320 volts to leak to your beloved camera.  If you have a cords and want it tested send it to me, I’ll check it out.


SOLUTION :  I own two brand new condition M-76-5  METZ nuclear weapons.  Thats what I call My M-76-5’s GUIDE NO 250!   They came with 1600 Mah Nickel Metal Hydrides. They are now professionally rebuilt to 3800 NiMH, Sanyo Commercial HD’s and its night and day. They’re the bong and the ding and the dang.  Portable power superseding anything you might blow thousands on.
And the cables and performance are perfect.  After my birthday March 14th, 2018 I will put the dual rig up for sale as I will officially be tired and retired.  I will run a BOGO, buy one get one free sale...  $ Bidding $800.00 for both with a lot of accessories. Someone will be getting a hell of a deal.  Cases included.